Cat Me If You Can (Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
13th in Series
Setting – Characters travel to North Carolina
Publisher: Berkley (August 25, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages (February 23, 2021)
Kindle ASIN: B07ZN3SMZX
Charlie Harris and his feline companion Diesel take a bookish vacation but discover that murder never takes a holiday, in this all-new installment of the New York Times bestselling series.
Charlie and Diesel along with Charlie’s fiancée, Helen Louise Brady, are heading to Asheville, North Carolina to spend a week at a boutique hotel and participate in a gathering of a mystery reader’s club composed of patrons of the Athena Public Library. In addition to seeing the local sights, the members will take turns giving talks on their favorite authors.
The always spry Ducote sisters, friends of the hotel’s owners, are helping underwrite the expenses, and they’ve insisted that Charlie, Helen, and Diesel join them. Anxious to get Helen Louise away from her bistro for a vacation, Charlie readily agrees. While Charlie is looking forward to relaxing with Helen Louise and Diesel, other members of the group have ulterior motives including a long-standing score to settle.
When an intrusive, uninvited guest turns up dead, only one mystery club member with a connection to the deceased appears to have a motive to kill. But could the answer really be that simple? Charlie and Diesel, along with the detecting Ducote sisters, know that every murder plot has an unexpected twist.
The wonderful Ducote sisters have planned a bookish vacay to Asheville, North Carolina for the Athena Public Library’s Mystery Readers Book Club to discuss Golden Age Mysteries. They are staying at the Hindman Hotel and because the sisters know the owners they have taken over the hotel and Charlie has been given permission for Diesel to tag along. They plan to see some local sights including the Biltmore Estate and each member will give a talk about their favorite Golden Age authors. In addition to the sisters, their ward Benjy, Charlie and Diesel, Charlie’s lady love Helen Louise, Ellie Arnold, Zac Ryan, Johnny Ray Floyd, Burdine, and Elmore Gregory, Melba and her beau Paul Brown, and Celia Bernardia have all arrived for the event. Denis Kilbride later crashes their party claiming to be Ellie’s fiancee. She is just a surprised as the rest of the group. It isn’t long before Denis is dead and Ellie seems to be the only one with a connection to the man. Charlie thinks there is more to the story so he, Helen Louise, Diesel, and Miss An’gel start investigating on their own.
I have enjoyed this series from the start and Diesel is my favorite literary animal. I enjoy the stories even more Miss An’gel and Miss Dickce Ducote make an appearance. This time a narcoleptic maid shakes things up when Charlie and Helen Louise think they have found yet another dead body. Thankfully she wakes up and walks away . . . at least this time. All the supporting characters are cleverly crafted and knowing one of them may be a killer keeps everyone on their toes.
Taking the characters on the road to a special place like Asheville was a great twist even though most of the time was spent at the hotel. I did enjoy the visit to the Biltmore Estate but it would take days to see everything the place has to offer. It is a place I would love to visit.
The mystery was more complicated than I thought it would be. We needed to do a deeper dive into the book club members’ backgrounds to open up the pool of suspects and things were made more difficult because the local police were not as forthcoming with information as Kanesha is back at home. I applaud the author for taking on some lifestyle topics within the mystery. There were also some corkscrew twists and misdirections that really blew each theory I had out of the water so I was totally surprised at the end.
I really enjoyed this story. This is one of the books that came out during my cancer treatments and I am mad at myself for not reading it sooner. I am excited about the next book in the series, What the Cat Dragged In. Its release date is August 31 and it is prominently noted on my reading calendar so I will read it right away.
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About the Author
Find out more about Miranda James and her books on her webpage here.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”